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Pac 12 Presidents Dip Toes in Water On NCAA Reform

Pac 12 Championship - Stanford v Arizona State

The Pac 12 presidents sent a letter to their colleagues, advocating a proactive plan to head off unionization in college athletics. It includes the following principles for reform, which address many of the players’ concerns.

* Full cost of attendance stipends.
* Ongoing health insurance for debilitating injuries.
* Guaranteed scholarships.
* Liberalize transfer and agent rules.
* Provide student-athletes “a meaningful role” in NCAA Government
* Stricter APR requirements for postseason play.
* Reduce number of in-season hours devoted to sports.

These reforms are a step in the right direction – college presidents tend to be the group most resistant to change – but they leave the crucial “professionalization” of college sports question unresolved. With conferences signing multi-billion-dollar TV deals, top athletic departments outstripping professional teams for revenue and the NCAA facing multiple legal challenges, it is naive to think college athletics will remain intact without concessions to players on the revenue model, even if it is just an Olympic model for outside income.

Pac 12 presidents also want to get rid of “one and done,” raising the age barrier for NCAA entry. That seems to be something the NBA will address in the next CBA negotiation, or sooner.

[Photo via Getty]

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